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Fundraiser celebrates lifeguards

LIHUE — Raising ocean safety awareness and honoring Kauai’s lifeguards were the order of the day at the Fourth Wave Celebration.

“The Kauai Lifeguard Association believes that this mentality can be a significant factor in helping people — both locals and also those who step off the airplane anxious to get to a beach and jump into the ocean — be aware of the life and death importance of taking a few moments to educate (themselves) about possible hazards and dangers, and to exercise caution,” said Monty Downs, president of the Kauai Lifeguard Association.

The Fourth Wave Celebration, which was presented by Hawaii Pacific Health, benefits KLA. It took place Oct. 22 at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club.

Over 850 people attended, which helped raise money to buy equipment for Kauai’s Roving Lifeguard Patrol Program.

Festivities included a silent and live auction, ocean safety displays, bingo and five live performances.

Jacob Pembrook, Dylan Haight, Andrew Kakalia, Spencer Taylor-Staik and Josh Llindstedt (lifeguards who guard Ke‘e Beach) were honored with the Tower of the Year award. The team received a Koa engraved plaque as well as personally embroidered Aloha shirts from Tropical Tantrum, certificates to Lava Lava Beach Club, Safeway gift cards and Koloa Rum surf wax.

During the celebration, Denise Wardlow, general manager of the Westin Princeville Resort, donated $33,000 to KLA. Downs gave $5,000 of that donation to Life’s Bridges to recognize the work they do to help families deal with tragedies while on vacation.

There were more than 240 donations of table purchases, cash goods and services, which helped provide three roving patrols at unguarded beaches.

During the live auction hosted by Dickie Chang, an alaia board made from koa, mango, milo and monkeypod wood, all gathered in Kokee, was sold for $6,750. Two additional boards were purchased for $6,500 each.

“The success of our Fourth Wave is the result of five years of building awareness towards an ocean-minded community,” he said. “The celebration reinforces ocean safety year round, in a festive way, while also calling attention to the services our lifeguards provide.”

Monies raised from the Fourth Wave will help purchase equipment for the County of Kauai’s Ocean Safety Division. Already from this year’s campaign, KLA has donated a fully loaded truck, complete with lights and sirens and with advanced 911 audio equipment, a Jet Ski and trailer, Downs said.

Once the total amount of money is counted, Downs believes KLA will be able to donate a second loaded truck, Jet Ski and trailer.

“This will give the county a big boost as they inaugurate the their Roving Patrol program. The beauty of our campaign/event is that it is Kauai’s people,” he said.

The celebration was the biggest event to date.

“The community, businesses, individuals, our county’s administration and county council are behind all of our programs. And that’s what helps us to succeed,” said Andy Melamed, KLA marketing director. “All efforts when joined together, not only bring us together it helps us to save lives and to build pride with one another and what we do. On a small island like Kauai we can control our destiny.”

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